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Illinois RV Camping and Campgrounds

Illinois has a wide variety of RV camping locations with spectacular scenery, solitude, and interesting history. Public lands and private RV parks and campgrounds offer a wide range of camping facilities from full service RV hookup campsites to remote primitive camping (boondocking) locations throughout Illinois.

Illinois Private RV Parks and Campgrounds

  • Private RV Parks - Research tools for finding the best privately owned RV parks and campgrounds in Illinois.

Federal RV Camping Information

  • US Forest Service - Official USFS information about RV camping in the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois. Free dispersed RV camping (boondocking) is permitted on lands managed by the USFS. Includes public campground information.
  • US Army Corps of Engineers - USACE/COE information about COE lakes and RV camping opportunities in Illinois.
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service - FWS information about National Wildlife Refuges in Illinois. Some wildlife areas permit camping. Check refuge regulations about restrictions.

State RV Camping Information

Campground Reservations

RV Dump Stations In Illinois

Free RV Camping In Illinois

Public Land offers many free RV dispersed camping opportunities. You can get free RV camping location tips from the USFS (USDA Forest Service) Ranger Districts. US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also has some free RV camping facilities. Boondocking and Dispersed Camping has more information about how to find the best RV camping sites on public lands.

The following are just a few examples of free RV camping locations available throughout Illinois.

CHILLICOTH RV Camping Location - Chillicoth
HWY-29 1 mile north of town east side of highway. Unused rest area. No facilities. HWY-29 1/4 mile south of town on west side of highway. Large gravel pull-off. Any size RV.

GALESBURG Galesburg RV Camping Location
Eagles Market off HWY-79, exit 48B, going West. RVs & truckers welcome to spend the night in a back corner of their parking area.

GILMAN Gilman RV Camping Location
City park on east side of town on US-24.

MARION Marion RV Camping Location
Free dispersed camping (boondocking) is available in the Shawnee National Forest. Contact local forest ranger districts for recommended locations.

MURPHYSBORO Murphysboro RV Camping Location
Designated free dispersed camping (boondocking) is permitted at the USDA Turkey Bayou Campground. Used as a hunting camp in the fall, this area is open year around for camping.

Illinois Public RV Camping

RV camping is allowed throughout Illinois in US Forest Service campgrounds, state parks and USACE (US Army Corp of Engineers) campground facilities. USDA Forest Service developed campgrounds suitable for RV camping. USFS campgrounds are usually primitive with vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. Water and trash are sometimes provided.

The following are examples of the many great RV camping locations found in Illinois.

APPLE RIVER Apple River Camping Location
47 first come first serve campsites are available at the Apple River Canyon State Park. Hiking, biking, fishing are only a few of the outdoor recreation activities available.

CARLYLE Carlyle Camping Location
RV camping is available at several developed campgrounds at Carlyle Lake. This USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) managed lake has fishing, hunting, boating, and is especially attractive to sailboaters.

DIXON SPRINGS Dixon Springs Camping Location
57 campsites, 31 with electricity are available the at Oak Point Campground. Boating, camping, fishing, and hiking are some of the available activities.

FOREST CITY Forest City Camping Location
A more rustic camping experience can be found in the Sand Ridge State Forest. Outdoor activities include hiking, biking, camping, sport shooting, and more.

McCORMICK McCormic Camping Location
Year around RV camping is available at the USDA Redbud Campground. 21 campsites with seasonal water and vault toilets.

OAKWOOD Oakwood Camping Location
184 reservable campsites are available at the Kickapoo State Recreation Area. This former strip mine is now the home of nearly unlimited outdoor recreation activities.

SHELBYVILLE Shelbyville Camping Location
8 public campgrounds are available at Lake Shelbyville. This USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) managed lake has over 11,000 acres of water, and 23,000 acres of land for recreational use.

SPRING GROVE Spring Grove Camping Location
Hundreds of reservable campsites are available at the popular Chain O' Lakes State Park. Boating, fishing, hiking and camping are just some of the outdoor activities available.

Basic campsites are available at the Des Plaines Fish & Wildlife Area. Outdoor activities include boating, fishing hiking, camping, and picnic areas.

WOLF LAKE Wolf Lake RV Camping Location
13 campsites with vault toilet and 14 day limit are available at the USDA Pine Hills Campground. Fishing, hiking, hunting, wildlife viewing are just some of the activities available.

The location map images for finding RV camping locations in Illinois are derived from Topo USA 8.0 National Edition and used with their exclusive permission. These map images only display a very limited area. DeLorme's Topo 8.0 covers the entire USA with highly detailed maps that can be zoomed in or out, moved, printed, and interfaced with GPS units. 3-D views, tracking and route planning, as well as map annotation ability are included. BLM administered lands are available free with registration of the program.

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Federal Public Land
RV Camping Information

USFS (US Forest Service) - Describes USFS policies and rules about RV camping. Information about dispersed camping, and tips on how to find great free RV camping sites.

NPS (National Park Service) - General information about RV camping and campgrounds in US National Parks. With campgrounds in the most historic and scenic places in the country, the NPS offers some of the best places for RV camping.

USACE/COE (US Army Corp of Engineers) - USACE (perhaps better know as COE) manages water recreation areas throughout the USA. Information about finding USACE lakes, RV camping possibilities, and rules and policies for use of these water based recreation areas is included.

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RV Camping Ideas In Illinois

Here's a list of places to consider when looking for a free overnight RV camping or parking location in Illinois. We always recommend asking for overnight RV parking permission when looking for a free spot to spend the night. The smaller your RV, the better chances you will have finding places to stay if you choose not to ask permission. If you don't ask permission, you end up "sneaking" into places and hoping nobody bothers you or issues you a trespassing ticket before you move on.

Be smart and Be Safe...Ask Permission.

  • Truck Stops - Asking permission is usually not a requirement Be considerate of the big rigs!
  • Walmart - Not all stores allow overnight RV parking in Illinois due to city ordinances. Check store for policy.
  • Nightclubs - Had one too many or just pretending?
  • Grain Elevators - Ask where you can park your RV out of the way for the night.
  • Fraternal Organizations - VFW, Elks etc. may allow members free overnight RV camping.
  • Cemetery - Sounds creepy to us, but we've also heard they may have water available.
  • Fairgrounds - State and County facilities may allow RV camping when not otherwise in use.
  • Parks - City, County, State, and Community parks often have free RV camping.
  • Churches - You can almost make "reservations" by calling ahead for permission.
  • Hotel Parking Lots - Assuming a nightclub/bar is inside, had one too many or just pretending?
  • Truck Terminals - Parking areas for large trucks might allow you free RV camping permission.
  • RV Dealers - Pretty brave to us, but you could fit right in.
  • Cracker Barrel - These nationwide restaurants usually allow free overnight RV parking.
  • Movie Theaters - Too tired to drive home after the late show?
  • Highway Rest Areas - All rest areas allow a few hours of free RV parking, but noisy.
  • Drive In Movies - Got a small RV, park in the back row and enjoy the show. Fell asleep by accident right?
  • Vehicle Repair Shops - Need to see the repairman first thing in the morning?
  • Big Box Retailers - Kmart, Best Buy, Sams Club often allow free RV camping.
  • Roadside Parks & Picnic Areas - The early day version of the rest area.

As you can see, there are a lot of free RV camping and parking possibilities in Illinois. If you are not asking permission, it's best to keep a very low profile. If your RV has slide outs, jacks and TV antennas, don't use them so as not to draw attention to yourself. Consider your surroundings carefully and if you feel uncomfortable with the area, move somewhere else.

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